Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Transfers...have a greenie

What up guys!

Alright so this Italian keyboard is being super weird right now and won't let me type certain punctuation marks, such as question marks, so I'm sorry if my email seems incorrectly punctuated or doesn't make sense haha.

For starters...my greenie is SICK AS HECK!! Definitely an inspired companionship right here. He goes by Anziano Perfili and he's from SO-CAL BOIII!! Got another Californian comp haha lets go!! He also loves Coldplay and sports and Taco Bell just like I do...so you can imagine how much fun we have. He's also got some serious courage and heart. I love it. We get along super well. He wants to work and he's always down to do whatever. And he never doubts himself either, I love it. We're gonna have a nice solid 2+ transfers together. It's also kinda funny because I found out that he and Anziano Goode, another missionary, and I all know someone in common from SoCal, small world.


I'd like to tell you that a lot happened to us this week, but not much has. I had to go up to Catania Tuesday with my last comp as he left Wednesday morning, and I stayed there until my greenie got there Thursday evening, and then we headed back together to Ragusa. And once we got to Ragusa, we haven't been able to do too many things special. We've been having to take care of getting his first residency permit so he's not illegal, and simultaneously taking care of renewing mine own residency permit. But all in all we were able to introduce him to some members and teach an investigator of ours, as well as plan out our first week together so we can attack at it full force. Speaking of which, were supposedly starting our quit smoking course Wednesday, so we'll see how that goes.

Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting, the topic was Redemption by means of Christ. It was awesome. I absolutely love giving talks in sacrament meeting. Kinda strange I know. But honestly when I get the opportunity to give a talk, I also have the opportunity to PREPARE the talk. And in the process of preparation, I learn so many new things and my eyes are opened to so many more truths and principles of the Gospel. Never feel like you know it all already, cause you never will haha. There's always so much more to learn, and that goes in regard to anything that can be learned. Anyway, in my talk I had the privilege of talking about the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, the means by which Christ actually redeems us, and it was such a great experience. I also recounted a story told to me by a member in Foggia named Maurizio Conforte, who was in the stake presidency. He served a mission in England, Leeds and Jeffrey R. Holland was the Area President at the time and made visits to all the English missions. And during his visits he would talk to the missionaries about many things and host conferences and especially recount firsthand experiences he saw in his ministry. Maurizio related to me a story told by Elder Holland himself that is a perfect example of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us, and it's all a true story. Unfortunately it's fairly long to type right now, especially since i would have to translate it from Italian to English for you guys. But if you wanna hear it let me know and I'll send it to you. It brought me to tears. But anyway, the talk I did went well, and I was pleased to receive a bunch of compliments from the members on behalf of it. I think it was good for the relationship between the missionaries and the members.

Well guys, we got some things happening next week, and it's possible that my pday, or free day, will be moved to Tuesday next week. So if you don't hear from me Monday next week, that's why. It's not because I'm dead.

Ok well I love you all, and hope you all don't miss me too much...lol jk

Ciao ciao!





Ragusa

Modica, right near Ragusa


#Artsy

My boys Anziano Stanley and Goode!!!! At the train station waiting for my greenie






yeah that's right,that's pistachio and some ricotta gelato

my orange was bleeding






Last district pic before transfers


Yeah idk what happened but I had to clean before church Sunday...

This guy almost gave us a tour of this entire cathedral








random church in Catania














Saturday, March 19, 2016

Transfers........

Sup everybody!

Can't believe it's almost Easter already...jeeze. Can't wait though! Because you know what that means...General Conference the week after 😏😌👏🏽👐🏽 so juiced.

Alright, so, to start off, we finally got our transfer calls (a week late)! In case you don't remember, some miscommunication between our mission and the MTC caused our transfers to be delayed a week, as well as our transfer calls. But hey, better late than never. Anyway, we got those calls on Friday and my current comp, Anz. Rusch, will be getting transferred to the city of Oristano on the island of Sardegna (Sardinia)! Which is funny cuz he has served his whole first 6 transfers here on the island of Sicilia (Sicily) and now is hopping over to another island, Sardegna hahaha. Still hasn't touched the mainland of Italy and he's going into his 7th transfer 😂😂 classic. And I'm gonna be staying for another transfer here in Ragusa 😁...well actually more like at least 2 since my new comp is gonna be a greenie (newbie) so I'm probs staying here with him for 2 transfers to help him get the whole "feel" of this mission thing we do. Honestly idek how to feel right now haha. Like I mean, I feel that it could go either super well or not too well. I guess it's kinda up to me how it goes so I shouldn't be worried, but I just hope President Waddoups hooks me up fat with a boss comp that's ready to go hard in the paint and have the time of his life!!! That's all I can ask for! President is a pretty inspired man so I assume my greenie will be he perfect fit for me.. :) oh and he better like to joke around and laugh cuz I think we all know that I can't go without that kinda stuff haha I like to have a good time. 

So yeah transfers are on Thursday, but our mission is fat and travel can take a lot. So the plan is that we go up to Catania TUESDAY EVENING, stay the night there (where I get to reunite with my super good friend Anz. Stanley 😄), then Anz. Rusch takes a 10+ hour train ride up to Rome, and I'll be in some trio with the homie Anz. Stanley and his current comp while we deal with others getting transferred, then I stay the night again in Catania, then on Thursday morning, Anz. Rusch takes a plane flight to Sardegna where he'll take a bus to his area, and I wait until Thursday evening for my greenie to arrive, and then we part together to Ragusa and probably get in around 8pm to the Ragusa bus station :) good stuff. So pretty much 2.5 days out of our area :// eh, whatcha gonna do? But anyway, transfers are always exciting and bittersweet times, but I'm super stoked to see who I get and to see my homie Anziano Stanley again!!

This week, nothing crazy happened. But we were SUPPOSED to start our quit smoking class today, but we can't because we realized we can't use the church on Monday evenings because the church encourages "family nights" to be on Monday. Which I respect. So yeah the only other evening we could do it that would be convenient enough would be Wednesday evenings at 7:30. Being that we won't be in Ragusa on Wednesday, we can't start it this week :( so we're gonna start it next week on Wednesday!! We're really hoping for a good turn out, we have high hopes for this course. But if I get a greenie that isn't Italian, this could be interesting since we're obviously gonna do this course in Italian...hahaha. Oh well, we will cross that bridge when we get to it ;)

Rather than bore you all with unnecessary updates with the people we're teaching, I'll just share with you an update or two and a cool(ish) story. In English course the other day, a lady came super early and was just chilling in the chapel as we were setting up the chairs and room for English course. She randomly asked about our setup on Sundays and what goes down at church. So I had the opportunity to explain it all to her, which led to more curiosity on her part. She eventually asked me about baptism and what our take on that is. As I began to describe it to her, another guy walked in and passionately joined in on the subject. Long story short, I shared with them the fact that we believe that one must reach the age of 8 before being baptized rather than as an infant like many churches do today. All due to having the agency to choose such a thing and being old enough to even be in need of a baptism. I mean, after all, can a little kid even sin if he doesn't really know what's wrong yet?...so anyway, it went like that, yada yada...next thing you know, English course is boutta start, but I wasn't finished yet. So we went out in the hall and they asked me, "so what's the main difference between you guys and us Catholics?" You can imagine the number of teachings and doctrines going through my head that I had to choose from. But I immediately recognized that what I needed to do was teach the story of the Restoration of the church of Jesus Christ. So that's what I did. I ended up starting talking about Prophets and their role and importance in the existence of Christ's church on earth (ex: so that there could be somebody to talk with Him and pass on His guidance to the people throughout the world, just like Biblical Prophets). Then next thing you know, just minutes later I was reciting to them the exact experience had by a young 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith. Many of us members know this story, in fact all members of this church know this story, because it is the very experience that changed the world; it changed our lives forever. Without taking up too much time, I explained to them the heavenly manifestation given to young Joseph on that spring morning in 1820. And how, through the guidance and help and timing of God Himself, Joseph Smith was called to be a Prophet to once again establish Christ's church to this earth for the redemption of all mankind who want it. It went great. Idk how but I got through it in like 5 minutes haha, but it didn't even feel rushed. Anyway, we then went back inside and started English course. They're both very interested in learning more, and I look forward to following up with my new greenie that's coming and seeing some miracles wrought in Ragusa. It's interesting to note that as I taught this small lesson, that I teach very often, I felt such a strong feeling within me re-confirming to me the validity and truth of what I was saying. As a missionary we get to testify of Christ, and His church, nothing but pure truths all day every day. It seems drawn-out maybe, but it never gets old. Every time I get to do this it hits me like it's the first time, every time. I have a love for this Gospel that compares to nothing else save it be my love for Jesus Christ Himself. I'm really coming to know my brother Christ out here in Italy, and I'm beginning to learn more and more each day how much he really has done for me, and how much He still does do for me. He is my Savior, He is my redeemer, and He has and continues to redeem me from things that no other man could. My heart burns just thinking about this.

Another cool little thing that happened: so yesterday on Sunday, we were studying some Italian in the house after a bomb meal appointment, and then we were arranging some times that Anz. Rusch could say some goodbyes to some dear friends here in Ragusa. As he was packing we thought, "hey we should pass by Carmello tonight." Then after some time, we got ready to head out, and then we were just like, "let's go now." So we left. On our way there i notice one of our "quit smoking" posters got covered up by some other poster. So we kindly removed the one over it and re-posted it next to it. Right after that, some old teenager walking his dog with his parents saw the poster and eagerly went over to read all the info. As we were walking away to Carmelo's, this boy grabbed the tab and was like, "Smettere di Fumare GRATIS!?" (Quit smoking for free) and showed it to his parents. I saw them look pretty excited to see it and thought about talking to them but we had to go. Anyway, Carmelo wasn't home and didn't answer his phone, eh. But then I was thinking, why do we feel the need to go to Carmelo's house? Why did I randomly notice a poster covering ours and decide to do something about it? And honestly guys, if there was even 2 seconds of delay within this whole process, these people never would have seen our poster, and thus never would have taken a tab off it. I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch, but I think it may be the start to a miracle...eh idk. We'll see next week on Wednesday if they come ;) some prayers would help that's for sure 🙏🏽🙏🏽

Well, I can't think of much else to say about this week other than it was a good one, and I look forward to many better ones and some miracles coming up. I love you all. And for those that love or miss me, just know I love it out here, and there is nowhere I'd rather be at this point in my life. I love what I'm experiencing and I hope you all can see that. Until next week!

Ciao ciao,

-Anz. Carter Blaise

They call it "Salame Turco" or "Salame di Cioccolato"
Pasta al Forno!!! (And no, it is NOT Alfredo sauce...😷 it's a mix of cheeses and besciamella, and some cauliflower) sooo bomb
I was "Lehi" and my comp was "Moses" today in primary haha we met and talked with the primary kids 😂 none of the dads wanted to do it so...





favorite...Elder Holland

Sheet music that Carter wants

Guy on left in the bible movie is in his ward in Ragusa

Carter on "splits", guy in middle has been in bible movies.



Monday, March 7, 2016

Ciao everyonee

Ciao everyoneee, 

So, interesting week...guess I'll start off my telling you guys that we didn't get transfer calls this week like we were supposed to :') and also transfers are postponed a week too :''') wow yay. Seriously killed me haha. Like transfer calls day are so suspenseful but then they just get postponed on us...gosh dang haha. Oh well. It's gonna end up being a normal 6 week transfer after all instead of 5 weeks like it was supposed to be.

So this week was slightly rough as far as missionary work goes, so I won't make you guys sad and tell you all about it haha. But on the bright side, we got some good hopes for this referral here this week...don't wanna jinx anything, but I think she's ready for this. We also just recently decided to start up a Quit Smoking class here in Ragusa. We figured that since everyone and their mom smokes here, there's gotta be at least a few that WANT to quit. And the program we're using is centered on Jesus Christ, His atonement, and the fact that through God we can accomplish any righteous cause. Of course there's a bit of science involved...a little grapefruit juice, mouthwash, vitamins and a different diet. But is program is developed by the church, and from statistics, of the 60% of the people that followed all 15 steps of the 7-day program, 100% of them were smoke-free by the end of the weeklong program. Pretty sick. So we finished our PowerPoint for that a few days ago and now we gotta get some publicity out there. I guess we'll see what happens from there. 🙏🏽

This week we had a miracle, I guess you could say. After English course, a new student came up and asked me what the difference was between us and Catholics. Well, being as there are many differences, I started with Prophets and worked my way through the entire Restoration with him. It was amazing. He was so curious. I've taught this lesson so many times, but every time I do, I feel it. I know it's true, and I get reminded every time that this church really was restored to the earth through a Prophet of God. Amazing. Then, I accidentally left my iPad in the church and didn't realize it til we got home. So we went to the church the next morning for studies since I use my iPad for studies. After studies, as we were about to leave the church, a random man gets out of a taxi near our church and looks like a hitchhiker pretty much. He comes up and all flustered asks, "can I buy a Book of Mormon off you guys? All I have is €20." It was a real wake up call to me on how precious the Book of Mormon really is. Here I am taking it for granted and all and this guy is almost refusing that I give it to him for free. Anyway, in the end, we gave him one for free of course, and he insisted on finding some sort of protective sleeve to put over it since he had a 40 minute bus ride to get back home. This guy traveled all the way out here just to get a Book of Mormon because he had read it in the past and it changed his life. Idk what's gonna happen with this guy, but I hope good things will. And as for the other guy from English course I taught the restoration to...he asked for a Book of Mormon and is down to meet with us...but he leaves for Denmark on Wednesday, and is planning on living there for a year...UGH! We just can't catch a break. Oh well, he'll find the gospel out there or somewhere, I know it.

In other news, Easter and General Conference are approaching us here in the near future!!! Soo sick. Man I love it. Can't wait :)

Sorry I don't have much to share with you guys this week, hopefully I'll have more next week. Including news about transfers. Love you guys. Ciao ciao.

-Anz. Carter Blaise


Anziano Carter Blaise 🇮🇹🇮🇲

Inviato da iPad

Anziano Chilvers and Whiting
Sicily has amazing gelato, just as good as Napoli, maybe better


horse

Butcher down the street




A picture another Anziano took

Anziano Wog


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Friends and Fam, what's up!?

Friends and Fam, what's up!?

Not too much goin on really. Just a usual week in the life of a missionary. Ups and downs like always but there's no need to think about the downs when there's ups 😉 we're currently in the debate between if we should drop one of our investigators because his lack of progress, and if we should baptize one of our investigators who wants to but may not be ready because of his minor handicap he has. Don't like deciding these things but we'll see what happens.

In other news, we get transfer calls this Saturday, pretty crazy fast...I have a feeling I'm staying and my comp is leaving, but honestly anything can happen so we'll see. We had ward conference on Sunday, it was pretty tight. The Sake Presidency came and one of the counselors is such a homie, I love him. He actually lives here in Ragusa! He has a younger brother on a mission right now in England and everyone in Ragusa says we look and act the same so that's interesting haha.

We actually have a ward mission leader here in Ragusa (first time in my mission) and he's super awesome :) he wants us to try something these next 3 months that he hopes will help this ward get more motivated and educated in regard to missionary work. So I hope all these member appointments is week will have some sort of effect in the long run...

Weather is warming up here, kinda weird. Wait jk we're next to Africa :')
But yeah Ragusa has its cold days but usually it's warmish out here. We're eating good, wearing our shoes out, and trying our best to change lives out here. Not much else to say about this week, other than the fact that a few verses hit me that I wanna share with you, they're found in the bible in the book of Matthew, many of you may know them. It says:

26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Bottom line—don't be ashamed to testify and defend Christ and His sake. There's nothing better you can do, and nothing worse you can do than deny Him. He is real and He is there for us. We need to show we appreciate Him by defending His name in every moment.
God is good. And so is His Son.

Love you all, and talk to you next week when I find out what's happening with transfers! :)


Anziano Carter Blaise 🇮🇹🇮🇲
Carter with his bishop









THE ZONE